A LOVE NOTE

Christ summed up the commandments in this – love GOD and love others!  We (believers) have a tendency to get caught up in doing the “Lord’s work” and following all the “rules” that sometimes we forget to simply LOVE.  God loves us, and that love enables us to love Him, then we are able love others.  It’s that simple.

1 Corinthians 13: The Excellence of Love

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I was reminded of this chapter over the weekend while attending a bridal shower.  Each of the guests were asked to give a bit of advice to the bride-to-be. My advice was to memorize and practice 1 CORINTHIANS 13.  This chapter makes the command of loving so much easier.  For me it made love easier to understand and apply (in my opinion).  It’s so profound, yet so very simple.

At times we can get caught up in our feelings, and as we all know those constantly change.  So it is important to keep these verses at the forefront of our minds at all times. We should keep this chapter hidden in our hearts (as God instructs us to do with all of His word).  This makes loving so much easier, particularly when our feelings are telling us otherwise and it is difficult for us to do.  

This chapter does not only apply to married couples, although I will say that I began truly clinging to these verses after getting married.  It actually applies to all believers, in all circumstances and situations.

I appreciate how Paul breaks it down into three different sections for us:

SECTION 1: It doesn’t matter how many good works and/or powerful acts that you peform – if LOVE isn’t your motive, they are meaningless.  This is a great place to  ask God to examine your heart (<-speaking to myself here too people). Psalm 26:2 ~ Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart

SECTION 2: This section explains what love is and what love is not.  This is what love looks like.  For those of us who may not have been given the best example growing up, God provides us with a very (clear) picture. I love how God does that for us!  Does this section describe you?  Does your love look like this?

SECTION 3:  This section shows us that love is changeless, steadfast, durable and continual.  Love is everlasting. Love will stand the test of time and beyond.  It is something that will outlast everything else in life and never fade away.  Love supersedes all else!  If this is what God says about love, then I definitely want to keep it at the top of my priority list!  Paul also explains that we won’t fully grasp the greatness of love here on Earth, but for those of us who are in Christ, we will know love {true love} completely one day!

I hope you all are encouraged by this little love nugget today!  It is always a good reminder for me and pray that it was for you as well.  When it is difficult for you to love, please remember that it is not done in your own power, but God’s love for us and through us that enables us to love others.  1 John 4:19 ~ We love, because He first loved us.

Love,

~ Melissa

We’re Not Out of the Water Yet

My family and I [do our best to] read through the entire Bible each year. In addition to our own personal Bible studies, we try to meet each night after dinner and read a chapter or two together, and then discuss our thoughts with one another. We’ve had a bit of an inconsistent start this year, but are slowly and surely making our way through. We are [still] in Genesis. Last week while reading the 8th chapter, I received a little nugget of encouragement that I’d like to share with you all. Hopefully it will encourage you as it did me.

Verse 1: But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

But God remembered Noah. Let’s stop right here. What simple, yet powerful words! Ever feel like God has forgotten you? Ever feel like the storms and floods of life have consumed you and wonder if God remembers you? I know I’ve been there. I’d like to remind you that God loves you and God does remember you [and what you are going through].

Noah had great faith in God. Noah had enough faith to do what God said even though it didn’t make sense. It had never rained prior to the Great Flood, so Noah had no idea what that meant or what to expect when God told him to build an ark. He was also ridiculed by the people around him when preparing for the flood. People thought that Noah was nuts and made a point to let him know it, yet he continued to build the ark like God told him to.

The rains came and the flood waters grew deep – deep enough to cover the mountain tops.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like to hear the violent waves crashing against the sides of the boat, or the sounds of the people screaming as the flood waters came [and overtook them]. It must have been scary to feel the boat rising with the waters, and not having any idea what was going to happen next or when it would end. Talk about trusting God!

“But God remembered Noah” – I believe that God remembered Noah, because Noah remembered God. Noah honored God, therefore he and his family were kept safely inside the ark [along with quite a few other companions].

“But God remembered Noah” – God remembered His great love for Noah, as well as His promise to him and made the rain cease.

This really spoke to me. I thought about How God does that for us. If we’re obedient to God, then we can trust that He will remember us!  He will not forget us in the midst of the floods in our lives. Deuteronomy 31:8 ~ “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Verse 2 & 3: Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.

God remembered Noah, then [immediately] actions followed. We see here that God kept His word – as He always does – and the rain stopped. God closed up the sky and that was the end of the storm. What I found interesting about this verse was that even though God stopped the rain, the water didn’t dry up right away. It says here that the waters “receded steadily” from the Earth. God could have made the flood waters just miraculously disappear. I mean after all – HE is God. Instead, He allowed the waters to dry up slowly. Noah had to wait. There is something very special that takes in our spirits during times of waiting [waiting on the Lord]. Isaiah 40:31 ~ Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Sometimes we experience floods [trials] in our lives and while the rain may stop falling, we continue to see and experience the after effects.  There are times when there is nothing more that we can [or need to] do. It is quite simply time to wait for God to complete His work.  Just as in the case above, it takes time for the waters to subside, the sun to shine, and the mountain peaks to become visible to us once again. It took 150 days for the waters to decrease in this case.

Has God spoken a word to you and you are waiting to see it come to pass?   Are the waters in your situation so deep and you’re wondering if and when they will ever decrease? May I remind you that – THEY WILL!  It may take time [in some cases a long time], but you will see dry land again some day. Just continue to wait on the Lord.  He won’t let you down.

Most of us know the end of this story. The waters completely dry up and Noah and his family come out of the boat and begin a new life. They started repopulating the Earth – and so began the Nations of the World as we see and know them today.

I’ve read this story many times before, but I never quite saw it from this perspective before.

I was reminded that what God says will happen – WILL HAPPEN.  I was also reminded that He remembers me. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Yet, many of us forget these very simple truths.

No matter how high the flood waters of life may rise, God is still God.  The Great Flood was all a part of God’s plan all along and His plans will NOT be thwarted. Job 42:2 ~ “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

Just know that He will only allow the flood waters to rise so high, and will protect His people [just as he did with Noah].  Trust the Author and know that the ending is good!

 

~ Melissa

 

 

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday!  Whoot!  Whoot!

I just love celebrating my birthday! It’s the one day of the year when it seems acceptable for people to make a huge fuss over me…to spoil me and treat me like a princess {or Queen for that matter}. I appreciate every minute of it!

What about you?  Do you love celebrating your birthday?  I’m always surprised that some people don’t get very excited when their birthday comes around each year.  I’m the type that begins the ‘countdown to my birthday’ about 30 days prior.  Some laugh because of my excitement over my birthday.  I personally believe that it is something that all of us should celebrate in a special way.  I believe that birthdays are God’s way of saying, “I still have a purpose for you on Earth.”  And doesn’t God say that long life is a blessing from Him? (Psalm 91:16, Proverbs 3:2)

I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for my blessing!

This morning as I was sitting quietly with the Lord, I began to ponder my life (my 30-something years here on Earth).  All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards God.  Why me O Lord?  Why am I deserving of this?  I thought about the years that I spent searching for satisfaction and meaning through people and empty things in this world.  I thought about all of years that I ignored God.  I thought about the time that I wasted on being selfish and seeking temporal things.  I thought about the times that I made really poor choices that could have ended my life. I considered what I deserve vs. what I have been given…and thought…I shouldn’t be here.  BUT GOD!!!  But God had another plan.  But God in His love and mercy chose to spare my life. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  But God saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.  But God had a purpose for my life – a plan to use me for His glory!  Why me O Lord?

Then the Lord whispered, “It has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with Me.”  God doesn’t deal with us according to what we deserve, but according to His loving-kindness; His goodness.  His word says that He does these things for “His Name’s Sake.”

God also reminded me of how He loves to use the weak things of this world to shame the wise; the useless things to reveal His power.  It’s all about Him!  I am so amazed at the way He takes the despised things of this world and makes them into something great.

1 Corinthians 1:28 ~ the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are…

This is my story!  God took me with all of my flaws, failures and shortcomings and called me HIS.  Most importantly, He gave me a new heart and a new life.

It all began with one simple decision to invite God to live on the inside of me, through accepting His Son Jesus.  It all started with me coming to my whit’s end and realizing that there is no way that I could ever truly be fulfilled {alive} apart from Jesus Christ.

Today, more than celebrating my physical birth, I celebrate my spiritual birth.  I celebrate the new life that I have been given through Jesus Christ.  God chose to redeem me; to save me.  He chose to place His Spirit inside of me, clean out all of the junk (an ongoing process) and fill me with His goodness.  I celebrate these things!  I celebrate my new life!

While our physical birthdays are fun, the most important birthday is the one where WE BECOME BORN AGAIN SPIRITUALLY!  In John 3:3, Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  THIS IS A REAL BIRTH DAY!

The Bible also tells us that the angels actually celebrate with us when we have a spiritual birthday.  Luke 15:10 ~ “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

If you have NOT had a spiritual birthday, you are {like a} zombie, aimlessly walking around Earth; dead.

Ephesians 2:4-5 ~ But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.  We ALL need to be born again!

Would you like to join me in celebrating your birthday today?  If you have not already made Jesus LORD of your life and accepted Him as your personal SAVIOR, I’d like to invite you to do so today.  It’s quite simple.  God requires only two things (Romans 10:9-10):

1) That you {honestly and genuinely} believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whose holy blood was shed for the sins of humanity (for YOUR sins), and that He raised from the dead.

2) That you confess with your mouth (the things that you already believe in your heart) that Jesus is Lord!

If you have done this, then I’d like to be the first to say – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!  I celebrate with you, and pray that you have a wonderful day as this TRULY is the beginning of a whole new life!

Love,

Melissa

A Message From God

Exodus 3:16

Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.”

Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about you?  Or felt that He wasn’t concerned about a certain situation in your life?  Have you ever cried out to God for help and felt ignored by Him?  Maybe you are facing something right now that is draining you mentally, spiritually and even physically and you wonder where God is.

Is this you?

If so, I’d like to let you know that GOD IS INDEED CONCERNED ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH!

I’ve read the story of God speaking to Moses many times before, but today as I was reading this story, the verse above stuck out to me.  I thought about what the children of Israel were going through when God gave this message to Moses.  At this point, they had been enslaved by the Egyptians for over 400 years.  They had been praying and praying for God to rescue them and yet nothing ever changed. I can’t imagine how hopeless it must have felt to be born into a life of slavery.  Not only that, but to be taught to trust in God even though many generations of people never saw the answer to prayer they were looking for – freedom from bondage.  I think the problems that we face in life are nothing in comparison to what the children of Israel dealt with.  However, many times our problems seem just as bad to us.  I believe God wants me to share the same message that He shared with Moses with you all today…that He is indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you!

I found this verse wonderful and interesting for a few reasons:

1)      God reminded me that He always cares about us and the things we are dealing with in life.  The world would have us think otherwise – that God is some far off being who is only concerned with huge issues – but that isn’t the case at all. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a huge issue like being enslaved in Egypt or wondering how you will pay your mortgage on time – God cares!  God concerns Himself with each one of us and the individual issues that we face in life.  He loves you and hears every single word that you utter to Him.  He even hears the unspoken prayers and concerns of our hearts.  Today, God says, “I love you and am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you.”

2)      God waited a long time before giving the children of Israel this message of hope and encouragement.  Can you imagine what it must have felt like to pray and pray to God and not hear from Him for so long?  As I stated previously, these people were in bondage for over 400 years. They prayed and prayed for relief and for a way out of their situation, yet nothing ever changed nor did they hear from God.  God chose to wait until right before the great Exodus (their answer to prayer) to tell them that He was concerned about them and their situation. Feel like you’ve been waiting a long time and haven’t heard from God?  Today, God says, “I love you and am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you.”  Hold on just a little while longer!

3)      Even though God gave this message to Moses for the children of Israel, they didn’t receive help right away. God had their answer, but it wasn’t revealed to them until just the right time (God’s time). In fact, things got worse before they got better as these people went through some serious persecution, because of Moses and witnessed the various plagues in Egypt. We too may face some hard times in life before we see answers to our prayers.  Just know that in the midst of life’s hardships that God loves you and is indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you!

There are all sorts of reasons why we face hard times in life and I don’t claim to know or understand them all. Sometimes things happen as a result of our disobedience to God or as a consequence of a choice that we’ve made.  Sometimes these situations are God’s way of refining us and making us better and stronger.  Other times our trials and tribulations are used to bring God glory and to draw people to Him.  Sometimes these things are just the result of living in a sinful world. The list goes on and on.  The one thing that I know for sure is that God loves each one of you so much, and cares about what you are facing today!

God has not forgot about you and THE ANSWER to any problem you have is found in Him!  Don’t be discouraged by the circumstances of life, but instead find comfort in knowing that God loves you, hears your prayers and is indeed concerned about what you are going through!

Psalm 40:17

Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

1 Peter 5:7

…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Hebrews 4:16

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Love,

Melissa

Rejoice Always and Always Rejoice!

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I used to think of rejoicing as a way of expressing myself when I was happy; when all was right in my world.  If I was sad, then rejoicing wasn’t something that I did.  However, the more I studied the Biblical view of rejoicing, the more I realized that God commands us to rejoice always – no matter what we are dealing with or going through.  Are you wondering how in the world this is possible?   I used to wonder that too, but the Lord really opened my eyes and taught me how to always rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 ~ Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

As I was going through a trial last year, God led me to the verse above.  It was the Apostle Paul who wrote this verse while he was imprisoned Philippi.  From what I have read, the prison conditions were not only unfavorable, but quite horrific. Here we have Paul instructing others (including us) to rejoice, but he was also rejoicing himself.

What does it mean to rejoice?   The prefix “RE” means “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition and “JOICE” a form of the word “JOY” meaning to feel or express great joy or delight.

This means that God wants us to be joyful again, and again, and again, and again…. (You get the point).

So, you are probably still wondering how it is possible to rejoice always if you don’t FEEL great joy or delight all the time.  Here are some simple instructions that God gave me recently to help me to rejoice always. When I am not in the mood to rejoice, I go down the list and see if I am doing these things. I noticed that exercising these truths daily helped me to stay in a state of rejoicing continually.  I hope you will find them helpful as well.

R – Renew your mind.

Romans 12:2 ~ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

God tells us to renew our mind daily, because our minds are bombarded and flooded with all kinds of junk each day.  We may not intentionally fill our minds with junk, but unhealthy stuff gets into our minds and spirits all the time.  All we have to do is watch the NEWS for a few minutes to become discouraged.  Reading God’s word and spending time in prayer helps to keep our focus in the right things and give us clarity regarding all things in life.

E – Enter His Gates.

Psalm 100:4 ~ Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

There is something special and supernatural that takes place when we begin thanking and praising God simply for Who He is.  It’s almost as if us giving thanks and praise to God opens the door to enter into fellowship with Him.  In fact, He instructs us to do this even before we enter into a discussion with Him.  Jesus shares this concept when sharing “The Lord’s Prayer.” Thanking and praising God changes our entire attitude.  How can we not rejoice when we are in constant fellowship with God?

J – Jesus focused. 

Isaiah 26:3 ~ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

When we are truly focused on our Lord and Savior, it is quite impossible to not rejoice.  For me, when my eyes are on Jesus first, everything else seems so unimportant and so minimal.  Yet, when we focus our attention on the circumstances of life, those things seem bigger; and those things steal our peace.  I think of the time when Jesus walked on water and He called Peter out of the boat.As Peter looked at Jesus, he was able to walk upon the water, but when he turned away (for just a second), and focused on the storm…he sank.  This same principle applies to us in life.

O – Open your mouth. 

Proverbs 18:21 ~ Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

We have more power than we know when we speak things.  God spoke the world into existence, and by His word all things have their existence.  We can choose to praise God with our mouths and speak goodness into our lives or keep our mouths closed and/or speak death.  Something amazing takes place when we open our mouths to praise God.  God shows us the importance of confessing (speaking) what He says to all throughout His word, to include Romans 10:9 where confessing leads to salvation.

I – Interact with other believers.

Hebrews 10:25 ~ not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

I think so many Christians ignore the importance of connecting with other believers on a regular and consistent basis.  The Bible tells us that where two or more are gathered in HIS name, that He is present.  The Bible also talks about how together we are like iron sharpening iron.  We gain so much from interacting with other believers: strength, love, knowledge, encouragement, wisdom, support, etc. I know that I always feel refreshed after spending time with people who love Jesus like I do.

C – Celebrate! 

1 Chronicles 16:12 ~ Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done

I don’t know about you, but I love celebrations!  Did you know that God does too?  All throughout His word we have examples of Him instituting feasts in order to celebrate and or remember events. In our family, we always find things to celebrate from finding a great parking spot, to getting good grades, to financial blessings, to our friends and family getting saved!  There is always something to celebrate; we just need to diligently look for those things each day.

E – End your day with the Lord. 

Joshua 1:8 ~ This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…

Like most people, there are nights where I go to bed feeling mentally and physically exhausted.  It’s so hard to rejoice when we feel so tired and overwhelmed.  Each night before closing my eyes, I spend time either in prayer or in the Bible (or both).  We tend to carry whatever has gone on during the day to bed with us.  Filling our minds with God’s thoughts before we go to sleep instead of our own thoughts calms us down, gives us something wonderful to think about while we sleep and promotes healthy rest.  I love ending my day with Jesus!

You know… if God never did another good thing for us – we should still be able to rejoice.  We are instructed to rejoice in the Lord, not in the world or in life’s happenings.  We can rejoice because God loves us. In addition, if you have accepted His offer by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you have eternal life!  Your sins have been paid for by the precious blood of Jesus and you have been forgiven and set free.  In my humble opinion, that is one great reason to rejoice always.

I pray you all will join me in working towards rejoicing always!

Breakfast with God

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My home is quiet once again! Yay!  My children went back to school after their 2-week long Winter break and my husband went back to work after about a 4-month long hiatus.  I love my family dearly, but so appreciate a nice quiet home and special alone time with my God.

This morning I happened to wake up with a song in my heart – Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I just love when that happens.  Does that ever happen to you?  Ever wake up with a song on your heart?  It’s like God is giving us a special message to prepare us for the day ahead; something to think about throughout the day.  Songs are an easy way for us to remember things, so I believe many times God uses that method of speaking to us in order to get His point across.

While I was singing ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ I made my way downstairs to prepare breakfast for myself.  Nothing fancy, just a nice bowl of cereal and freshly brewed coffee [I just started drinking coffee, and it has become one of my favorite things].  After that, I went to sit down at our dining room table in the large comfy chair that faces the back of our home.  I like being able to look outside when I eat breakfast and admire all the beautiful trees [although they are pretty bare now].  Every once in a while I see a red robin, a rabbit or even a deer pass by…oh so nice.

“Aaaaahhhhh….thank you Lord” I said.  Just to be able to relax and take some time to be silent feels so good.  Many times that’s all our soul needs is just a little quiet time with God without any distractions.

I also opened up my Bible and spent some time reading.  In between reading, I spoke to God and asked Him questions; questions about the things I was reading and even seeking His direction for my life and for this day.

After my breakfast and my time with God, I felt completely refreshed, motivated and ready to tackle the day ahead.  I felt physically and spiritually nourished.   My mind was clear and I was able to focus on the tasks ahead.  I felt God’s presence immediately. I knew that no matter what this day brought, the Lord was with me.  What a wonderful feeling!  Oh, how I love having breakfast with God.  It’s the one time of day when no one else is around and I am able to enjoy special quality time with my Lord and my Savior.

What about you?  When is the last time you had breakfast with God?

I know that many of you have very busy schedules.  With work, school, families, homes and everything else in life, it’s hard to find time to spend with God. The idea of having a sit down breakfast with Him seems almost impossible for many of us.  So, maybe breakfast won’t work for you.  What about lunch, dinner or a mid-night snack?

When I was a single mother working full-time, I found it a bit challenging to fit in alone time with my Lord.  I worked all day and when I came home, I was busy taking care of my sons.  I learned that having lunch with God worked best for me.  Most of the time I would “brown bag” it to work, grab my Bible and sneak away to a park somewhere in the middle of the day….just me and the Lord!  I always came back with a clear mind and a burst of energy to finish out the rest of my work day.  There is something so therapeutic about spending time with Jesus.  There is just nothing else on Earth like it.

Is it necessary to have a sit down meal with God?  No.  Although, I find something so special about doing so.  Additionally, the Bible talks about it on a few occasions.  Look at Revelation 3:20…

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Interesting, right?  I thought so too.  Of all of the things that Jesus could have said he wants to come in and do, He chose dining with us.  One Bible version says sup, another eat, and yet another share a meal.  Clearly all meaning the same thing.

How about all of the times when Jesus sat down and ate with His disciples?  I recall one very special meal referred to as The Last Supper. Then after He died and prior to ascending to Heaven, Jesus chose to eat with two men on the road to Emmaus.  One thing I find interesting about this instance was the fact that the men didn’t recognize Jesus until AFTER they ate with Him .  After dining with Jesus their eyes were opened and they had a new realization of who He was (Luke 24:30-31).  I wonder how many things God wants to reveal to us that we miss out on, because we don’t take the time to sit down and dine with Him.

The Bible mentions another important meal – The Marriage Supper of the Lamb!  This is a feast for those of us who are saved, and takes place in Heaven with Jesus.  We get to dine with our Lord and Savior (Revelation 19:9).   What an amazing meal that will be.  I so look forward to that day!

I believe that there is definitely something special about having a meal with our God; a way of connecting with Him on another level.  Maybe a meal is out of the question for you, but is there a time of day that you could designate to sit quietly before the Lord?  To read His word, and talk to and listen to Him?

I’d like to encourage you to spend some time with the Lord today.  Some quiet time.  Some private time.  Share a meal with Him.  Share your thoughts with Him. Set aside some time for Jesus. I guarantee you will be blessed!

I Know Who, Do You?

How many times in life do we go through trials and tribulations and ask WHY?  Have you ever prayed for a particular person, situation or circumstance, and wanted so badly to know HOW and WHEN it would be answered?   Or have you ever wondered WHAT is going to happen next and WHERE it will take place?  I’m sure that I am not the only one to ever have these questions.  As a matter of fact, I believe that ALL humans want to know the answers to these questions at some point or another.

I think about the very first people on Earth – Adam and Eve.  God provided so abundantly for them, but gave specific instruction to not eat of one tree in the middle of the garden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).  Eve just had to find out what and why and even convinced her husband to follow along and their curiosity literally killed them (spiritually).

It seems to me that when we want so badly to know the what, why, when how and where of it all, we end up either frustrated and/or in a not so favorable predicament.  Just look at Adam and Eve.  Their desire to find out those answers (and disobey to God) cost them their spiritual lives.  Fellowship with God was broken all because they HAD TO KNOW.  This not only affected them, but all of humanity as well.

Now, I am not saying that curiosity is wrong.  As a matter of fact, I believe that it is natural to be curious and to question things in life.  I also believe that God places that feeling and the longing to know in us.  I do believe, however, that the purpose of that feeling is to draw us to HIM!

My family has been going through a lot of life changes lately.  Most of which pertain to my husband’s job.   It seems like every time we get comfortable with a certain position/department/schedule/etc., things change.  The most recent change that took place was a total shock to us and interfered with my plans for the next year.  I had everything figured out.  I knew what was happening next (or so I thought).  I even scheduled certain activities and events around what I thought was going to take place.  Now all of a sudden things aren’t happening the way I thought they would.

My first question upon hearing the latest news was WHY?  Why is this happening?  Then I asked myself WHAT?  What is going on?  What is the purpose of this change?  After that I wondered WHEN?  When would we know something?  Followed by HOW is God going to work this out and WHERE is He taking us?  The not knowing was enough to drive me crazy (not literally of course).

It wasn’t long after asking those questions that I felt the Lord say, “All you need to know is WHO.”  What?  What does that mean?   That means that out of all the questions that we have in life, the most important one is WHO.  Who is my answer?  Who has my answer(s)?  Who is sovereign?  Who orders my steps in life?   If we know WHO, then we will have peace about not knowing the answers to what, when, where, why and how.  In fact, not having all of the answers only proves that we are human and not God.  We are the creation; created to depend on the Creator.

I believe that this is the same thing that God wanted Adam and Eve to know.  He wanted them to know WHO He was and to trust Him enough to follow His instruction.  I also believe that this is the same thing that He wants us to know today (Proverbs 3:4-6).

You know, God tells us in Hebrews 11:4 that it is impossible to please Him unless we have FAITH!  How does it take faith if you already have all of the answers?  How do we truly TRUST God if we have it all figured out beforehand.  If you believe that God is WHO He says He is, then you don’t need to know the answers to those questions.  The only one that matters is WHO!

So, I’d like to ask you today…  Do you know WHO God is?  Do you know Him personally?

If you are a born-again believer, I’d like to encourage you today to relax and trust God.  He is sovereign and has wonderful plans for your life.  We don’t always know what that plan is, but we can rest assure that it is GOOD (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11).

Many times situations look grim, but we can only see a small piece of the puzzle.  God knows what the puzzle looks like when it is complete.  In fact, He created the puzzle.  We just have to be obedient, making sure we listen to Him (His instruction) as he guides us through life; telling us which puzzle piece goes where.

Stop asking WHAT, WHEN, WHY, WHERE AND HOW….and TRUST IN WHO!

Psalm 71:5 ~ For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.

Isaiah 14:27 ~ For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?

Isaiah 30:21 ~ Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

Isaiah 55:9 ~ “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Matthew 6:27 ~ And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?